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Hunters have long season

September 21, 2003|by BILL ANDERSON / Staff Correspondent

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the final season dates selections for the 2003-04 waterfowl season. Maryland duck hunters can look forward to a long season, with relatively liberal bag limits.

The season dates are based on a framework provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Maryland hunters will have a 60-day season divided into three segments. The segments are: Oct. 25 through Nov. 1; Nov. 8 through Nov. 28; and Dec. 16 through Jan. 24.

The annual survey of duck nesting success showed that the pintail populations were up this spring and summer, but the species is still well below historical levels. Maryland will feature a limited pintail season, which will be open the first segment, and the third segment of the general duck season. The daily bag limit will be one pintail. As has been the case in recent seasons, black ducks will be legal in the second and third segments only.

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Duck hunters will also be permitted limited canvasback hunting season this year. The DNR reports that based on improvements in the canvasback populations, the USFWS has authorized a limited 30-day canvasback season. Maryland will hold its canvasback season Dec. 22 through Jan. 24 with a one bird per day bag limit.

Maryland has also announced that the season for migratory Canada geese will be a 45-day season this year. The season will be in two segments: Nov. 15 through Nov. 28; and Dec. 18 through Jan. 24. The daily bag limit will be one goose per day.

The season dates for resident Canada geese in this area will be Nov. 15 through Nov. 28 and Dec. 10 through Feb. 15 with a five bird daily limit.

The very popular Junior Waterfowl Hunt will be held on Oct. 11 this year.

The general duck bag limit this season will be five ducks per day which may include no more than: 4 mallards (max of 2 hen mallards); 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 3 scaup, 1 fulvous tree duck, 1 canvasback duck (in season), 1 pintail (in season) and 1 black duck (in season).

During all three segments, hunters may take 1 additional teal (blue-winged or green-winged).

The waterfowl regulations are fairly complex, so hunters are urged to obtain the regulations and season information which are available at license agents and carefully review the before heading out to the field. This info is also available on the Internet at www.dnr.state.md.us/huntersguide




Bill Anderson writes a weekley outdoors column for The Herald-Mail.

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